COMMANDER LEW HARDING
This year, the Cherokee community will honor its veterans again at the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds Exhibition Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 11 at 11am. Men and women who served their country in uniform are part of almost every Cherokee related family, either directly or indirectly. In the 236th year of our American independence, to those who fought to keep us free, we extend hearts full of gratitude. Truly, we are a blessed people.
Our veterans have been very much a part of preserving the freedoms so important to all of us. The commitment, dedication , sacrifice and service of these brave men and women has been a source of pride for our Cherokee people and all Americans.
How many of us know the parent, wife, brother, sister, neighbor or friend of someone killed in action? It seems sad that our evening news rarely mentions our fallen heroes anymore. Could it be that our military men and women as individuals are seen as extensions of a dysfunctional governmental system? It is up to us, each of us, not to align ourselves with such an idea.
The lack of recognition and respect that our society pays our heroes on their day is sometimes disturbing. Have you ever been offended by all the commercials for Veterans Day sales events? With 364 other retail opportunities each year, one would imagine that this day could be treated with a little more thoughtfulness and appreciation. Perhaps we could wait until next week to buy a car or a chair, and set aside some quiet time to reflect and say thank you.
Remember, all the political reasons for our wars cannot begin to heal the pain and grief of families who have lost loved ones. We honor them here, and now. Their loss is our loss. Their tears are our tears. May it ever be so.
Let us take one hour of one day next Tuesday and honor our veterans. They are everywhere among us. We will celebrate with music and food and speeches and awards. Come and be with us and show them we care.
Harding is the Commander of the Steve Youngdeer American Legion Post 143.